Sunday, 30 September 2012

A Waant o Fushion: Part One

The Blether Region recently came into possession of the "Ulster-Scots" version of some publicity material concerning the Help Scheme for the digital switchover (apparently sourced from Eclipse Translations of Alnwick, Northumbria and available on request from

The following should be regarded as constructive criticism.


One assumes that this is here being used to mean 'features'. Native speakers would be more likely to interpret it as 'fine things'.


Clag or cleg can be rather an earthy word (both in its field of application and metaphorically). In my view it is not suitable for use in the sense of a label stuck to something.


This is presumably Claught Kïngrick, which is not an adequate translation of "United Kingdom". The verb cleek, of which claucht or cleikit and claught are generally the respective Scots and Northern English simple past forms, has various meanings based on the notion of 'hook', many of them negative (e.g. 'grasp', 'deceive' and 'ensnare in marriage', all of which could suggest antipathy towards Unionists), and none used in traditional literature to refer to a political union. The meaning 'confederal', i.e. referring to a connection short of union, might be slightly more plausible.

Daen time

I assume that this refers to having a criminal record. However, one can have a criminal record without having "done time", i.e. gone to prison. It in any case seems too colloquial for a formal text.

Doon's Syndrome, Guidmans, Side 4, Smairt Taak, Swutchowre Hize Ploy

These have been translated despite being proper names; would it really be possible to make out a cheque or send a letter to "Swutchowre Hize Ploy"? Even if one has no knowledge of Ulster Scots, such naivety should alert one to possible issues with the quality of the translation.

Eildit an lamiter crettèrs

Potentially offensive.

Fair faa ye

This is a blessing and is not a general equivalent of English welcome. The traditional word is walcome.


The word factor properly refers to an agent acting on behalf of a laird or appointed by a court. Its meaning here is considerably extended.


Using this word to refer to a TV screen is rather bold.


Flicker is not a Scots word but a slang English one and too colloquial to be used for "remote control" in a formal text.

Gie it a birl

This expression ('give it a shot') is too colloquial to be used in a formal text.

Gin ye hae gat tha jile

This is too colloquial to be used for "been to prison" in a formal text.

Hamelt analogue sïgnal

One assumes that hamelt is here being used to mean 'existing' or 'conventional'. It more properly means 'domestic' or 'native'.


Properly this means 'to ratify' or 'to confirm formally something already done' (literally, 'to say the same word'). I am not sure that it could be used to mean 'confirm' or 'approve' in any more general sense.

Kintrie-pairt poust an resydentèr tent trust

This is not a plausible translation of "local health and social care trust". Kintrie-pairt is a new conflation, albeit a reasonably transparent one. Poust means 'energy' or 'drive' rather than 'health', for which the usual Scots word is halth. A resydentèr is a 'resident', and its use to mean 'social' seems difficult to justify.

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